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XML Companion, The, Third Edition by Neil Bradley

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Markup minimization techniques

At the time SGML was defined, memory and disk space were vastly more expensive than today. The limited memory available to computers in the early 1980s was a concern. A document could be too large, or too complex for the parser to deal with. The size of documents was therefore a major concern, and keeping markup to a minimum was seen as essential. There was also no expectation that WYSIWYG editing tools would be made available to authors. XML document authors were expected to type every character in every tag. So techniques designed to minimize the task of keying markup constructs was of prime importance. For these two reasons, the SGML specification includes a number of markup minimization techniques. Markup tags ...

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